Wood Care


JThompson Tops, Inc. since 1982, is proud to provide its customers with quality solid wood tops that are customized to serve your special requirements and for this purpose will stand behind our work.

Our products are warranted against any manufacturing error, but cannot be warranted against locations of excessive humidity or extreme dryness, both of which are beyond our control, nor abusive handling, care or failure to properly install the top. JThompson Tops, Inc. reserves the right to qualify any claims against our products.

Installation Instructions

Proper installation is required for full warranty of countertops. Tops, especially island tops extra wide, and thick etc. should have special care in attaching to cabinets. Be sure to screw down tops every 8″ to 10″ around all sides, corners, and center sections, using #8 self drilling screws. Tops that are 3½ feet or more should have a third row of attaching screws in the middle of the top. For ease of installation, pre-drill cabinets with a 1/8″ pilot bit on an angle to the inside of cabinet. Pre-start screws before setting the top on the cabinets. Overhangs of more than 12 inches should be supported every 12″ to 24″ with corbels or steel supports.

Care should be taken in keeping the top, once installed, from experiencing radical moisture swings. Watch doors being left open for long periods of time (letting extra moisture enter the environment), and also watch for space heaters close to the top (drying out environment). In new construction, mineral oil finish tops must be kept wrapped in plastic and with a protective product (cardboard, Styrofoam sheets) until the HVAC is in operation. This will ensure the top remains stable and protected. Special finish tops must be covered with non scratching material (Rosin Paper) and Protective covering. Always leave the owner our standard care sheet.

Care Instructions

We are proud you have chosen one of our solid wood counter tops. With simple, proper care, you will have years of enjoyable service from our tops. All our wood tops are made of the finest grades of kiln dried lumber species available. Our standard mineral oil finish lets our tops naturally breathe and live for a stable construction. Paper towels work well for applying mineral oil.

Mineral oil should be applied periodically especially if the top tends to have a dry appearance. You cannot apply too much natural mineral oil finish. During the first year, oiling every month should build a good preserving finish that will still let moisture enter and leave top—letting it live for a long, stable life. Just put mineral oil on top and blend with a paper towel and let it soak in—preferably over night. Remember to apply mineral oil when top is dry. In most environments, in the first year, if care is taken in maintaining tops as stated above, tops will need less future maintenance since a durable, seasoned mineral oil finish is accomplished. Scratches, pot burns, stains, and grain raise (from excessive moisture, water rings, or after heavy cleaning) can be removed from your tops by sanding with medium grit sandpaper and applying fresh mineral oil. We hope you and your family enjoy our tops.

Wood Characteristics

All wood species naturally darken with age (primarily from light and oxidation). Some species darken moderately while others darken greatly. Maple, red oak, walnut, and purpleheart tend to lightly darken but stay closer to their original color. Mahogany, Brazilian cherry and American cherry tend to darken more moderately. These species show an even color hue that is richer and darker than their original color. Iroko shows the most change in color shade from an extreme degree of color change darkening from a bright gold when freshly milled to a medium brown when fully oxidized. As Iroko ages from fresh cut to fully aged the color range varies, but once fully aged, it exhibits a medium range of color. Also, natural oils such as mineral oil and soybean oil help promote the oxidation process achieving darker, richer colors. Poly finishes will tend to slow and hold back the darkening process. Light staining on some wood products such as Iroko is suggested to achieve a darker, consistent color when using Poly finishes, etc.

Pros and Cons of Waterlox® & Poly

Waterlox® penetrates the wood fiber similar to our standard oil finish and scratches, dents, etc. on the wood surfaces can be easily sanded and more Waterlox® applied. Customer can also easily apply Waterlox® as a normal maintenance finish just by simply applying a small amount on a paper towel and hand polishing in the Waterlox® (small amounts and more applications are better to accomplish a true hand rubbed finish). Waterlox® is a penetrating oil finish so applications after customer has received tops are advised for the hand rubbed finish to build up (once every month or two for the first year will build a true rubbed finish). We can only put light coats on so draw back is customers would need to maintain their tops with a light Waterlox® rub periodically especially the first year.

Poly finish is more permanent (basically a thin solid finish that lays on top of wood fiber). Cracks, chips, and just normal wear does happen over a period of years to the finish, similar to a automobile finish that wears out and has to be sanded and refinished. Poly coating of tops requires full sanding and usually 3 coats and sanding between coats. It is very messy to do in the house and usually customers would need a professional to do this recoat. The advantage of Poly is that customers would have no maintenance to deal with on their top's finish until it wears down.

Waterlox® Finish

The Waterlox® finish is a modified Tung oil /Linseed oil with phenolic resins. It has been around for years, and is a sealer/finish that penetrates the wood fiber. Waterlox® is suggested for exotic woods as well as native wood species. It enhances the wood patina, darkening the wood like mineral oil. Waterlox® penetrates and hardens wood fiber (oil penetrates but requires more applications - Waterlox® suggests as few as 3 coats). Waterlox® resists alcohol, hot liquids, stains and household chemicals. It is a more permanent finish but can be rubbed on and applied easily in the future. Customers can purchase Waterlox® at fine hardware stores such as TrueValue. Color hue change is usually the same as mineral oil on wood species, which is slightly darker than a poly coat finish. The Waterlox® website is, and all information on this product's use and application are there.